i got my area 51-5500 right before the new one came out, its my first also, outside of the harddrive going out within the first 2 weeks, its been my fav laptop, so far out of 13 laptops owned, still have a dell 9300, ( which i consider dells best laptop to date, price/perf) and a sony vgn s360,..
the alienware does get warm. but outside of that, i love it. i cant get a newer laptop ( core duo ) cause they use pci xpress card slots, i have a sprint pcs data card, using evdo. so they have to come out with a new card for me to upgrade.
but back to the question, the wait is worth it, it took 1 month, cause of the stupid alienware card stuff. then they where out of the wuxga screens, and the ati card. so i downgraded to the wsxga and the nvidia card, still happy as the nvidia card still can handle games. Plus with 3 kids and a wife, when do i have time anyway,lol
i tell u, its more personalized ordering a alienware vs a dell or any other .. so and they handled my dead harddrive thingy within one day and overnighted me a new one, so im all for alienware.
there are alot of alienware bashers out there, but i would say the wait is worth it. good luck..